Finance in Transition: Principles for a Positive Finance Future

In a new publication with (among others) The Rotterdam School of Management, we call upon key actors in the finance world to invest in and engage proactively with transformative change… and provide practical ways how! Because making finance’s ‘business as usual’ more sustainable will not lead to a desirable future and only raises the existential risk for planet, people and p…. ehm… economy! What we need is to transition to finance for a nature-positive economy. So, governments, regulators, financial institutions, pension funds and educators – join us in accelerating and guiding this transition!
Despite increasingly louder calls for ‘sustainable development’ since the late 1980s, our world is stuck in a pattern of persistent unsustainable development, linked to the global financial system. Global finance as-is produces economic benefits and financial growth for a small minority, while externalising significant costs and risks that are borne by society and nature. Neither traditional finance nor its recent, ESG-oriented ‘better self’ with its gradual change can stop the downward curve of the climate and biodiversity crises.  
So as part of RSM’s Series on Positive Change, prof. Derk Loorbach (director DRIFT), prof. Dirk Schoenmaker (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus Platform for Sustainable Value Creation) and Willem Schramade (Sustainable Finance Factory, Erasmus Platform for Sustainable Value Creation) wrote “Finance in Transition: Principles for a Positive Finance Future”, a book on how to facilitate the transition of the financial system.
After an analysis of the history of the financial regime, the work looks at various scenarios for the future of finance and provides guiding principles for a positive finance transition. The authors take their vision of a desirable future in which finance supports a nature-positive economy as a starting point and identify the elements, building blocks and initiatives that currently exist and already contribute to transition.
Our call to action
“Finance in transition” holds that creating a positive finance transition is a strategic opportunity that ultimately contributes to a nature-positive economy that generates well-being for all. But what can you do? The book’s final section ‘How to move forward?’, describes how key actors in the finance system like pension funds, banks and education can use transition arenas (Box 4 in Chapter 6) to proactively guide and accelerate transformative change.
You can download the book here, for free. You can get in touch with Derk Loorbach, or any other DRIFTer with questions on how to set up a transition arena in your domain or organization. And, if you work for an (impact) fund or philanthropic organization, you may want to look into our course ‘Fondsen in Transities’ (in Dutch), which starts in March 2021.

November 17, 2020